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Aims of the founding fathers

Power was dangerous and threatened liberty ­ federalism,
checks and balances, separation of power

Elections and Politicians should know that they are accountable to the
people and hence must serve their interest, or they will be
thrown out of office


1. The electoral system…

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5. Primaries 6. Caucuses

Invisible primaries Usually held in large areas with small populations.
Candidates start campaigning almost instantly after the A series of meetings usually 23 hours take place and
election for the next one, gathering funds and gaining participants try to persuade each other to support their

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11. The Message (2) 12. Voting

The air war
Appealing to far more people with TV and radio ads. Voting starts in the last 2 weeks of campaigns, with postal
Depends on who has access to the most funds. Obama ballots and early opening of polling stations.
outspent McCain and…

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17. Disadvantages of direct democracy 18. Concerns about the US political system ­ Cost (1)

Many ballots are initiated by special interest groups, who Campaigns are now extremely expensive Obama raised
are able to hold extra influence through their members. $635 m
* Increased professionalism/sophistication of campaign
May restrict government…

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1. Aims of the founding fathers

The founding fathers did not want factions to form that
could pursue the interest of a particular group, by having
an disproportionate influence over congress and the

Pressure Groups

Yet they also believed that `the people' should be
sovereign and should be able…

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6. Influencing the legislature (1) 7. Influencing the legislature (2)

Bills Senate ­ why?
Pressure groups seek to influence both chambers, need to Filibuster ­ even getting the support of one senator is
overcome a divided congress (get bipartisan support), have enough to stop a bill if there is not…

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12. The impact of pressure groups ­ the left 13. The impact of pressure groups ­ the right

Policies that emerge from vigorous debate between
Believe that the wealthy and large groups simply serve the different viewpoints are likely to be in the best interest of
interests of the elite…

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2. Umbrella Parties 3. The left and the right

For the majority of American history the political parties Being the party that supported government intervention and
did not have a strict ideology that they followed. They helping the poor and vulnerable in society, the democrats
covered the whole political spectrum,…

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8. The Democratic party policies (1) 9. The Democratic party policies (2)

Blue Dog Democrats The left
This is the conservative group in the democrats, they argue Is a loose coalition of party activists and internet based
America has become more conservative and the organisations like, they had previously…

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14.Summary and possible exam questions

To what extent are the parties similar/different from each

What do the parties stand for and what do the factions

Who supports who

Impact of minor parties/ why they lack success

1. Aims of the founding fathers

When writing the constitution the founding…


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